25 Book Reviews

Monday, November 30, 2015

Find your way to peace and purpose with this new book!

"Making it Home"
By Emily T. Wierenga

For women who have grown up in the tension between third-wave feminism and Martha Stewart, it can be a struggle to define and embrace the meaning of home. There is constant pressure to do things a certain way, and sometimes intense criticism from those who think you're doing it wrong. But what if home isn't really about whether or not you homeschool or have a career? What if it's more about who you are than what you do?

A self-proclaimed "former subversive," Emily T. Wierenga has learned the art of making a home and the joy of settling down. Emily takes readers on an unconventional journey through marriage, miscarriage, foster parenting, and the daily struggle of longing to be known, inviting them into a quest for identity in the midst of life's daily interruptions. Through soul-stirring writing, she helps women understand that homemaking is much more than old-fashioned tradition; rather, it's a timeless art requiring mind, body, and spirit.

My Thoughts:

Emily has used her talent as a "self help"  author to have us travel along beside her as she journeys through the ups and downs of life, from 2011 to 2014. As a busy mother and wife, she also works as an author. Sounds easy, doesn't it??? But the everyday trials of life are definitely not easy for most of us.  

The author, in her earlier years, experienced an eating disorder. She had a very rocky relationship with her father. After surviving that battle, she so wants to succeed in her role as wife and mother, as well as an author, but each day seems to get harder.  She realistically describes her daily problems with self esteem in a way with which we all can relate.  Life does not go along without challenges and hardships. It is how we deal with it that moulds us and makes who we are. We can choose to do it the hard way or follow God's path. To do that, we must form a relationship with Him, studying His word and praying . 
This memoir is certainly meaningful, however I did find it difficult to stay focused at times. For me, it was a slow read as I made my way through the book. It is well written , I must admit and could be very useful for some individuals. I did have some theological issues. 

All in all, it is a well written memoir. 

This book was supplied by Baker Publishing  and Graff Martin Communications in exchange for a fair and honest review. Now available from your local bookseller.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

"Miracles are made of love"

Giveaway!!!!  Keep                       Reading!!!

       "Change of Heart"
         By Molly Jebber


A modern new century brings a young Amish woman an unexpected new life—and a chance to discover love's true way home…Ohio, 1899. Soft-spoken midwife Becca Yost lived by her Amish faith's strict rules—until her fiancé jilted her before their entire community. She's never been away from home, but the bustling Englischer town of Massillon, Ohio, is a welcome unexpected refuge. Especially when she goes to work for Dr. Matt Carrington, who shares her passion for healing those in need. His outgoing spirit and gentle strength show Becca a surprising new world of choices—and irresistible love. But there is one formidable obstacle: Matt's wealthy mother is determined her son will marry a society woman.

With her newfound resolve challenged, Becca decides that she and Matt must not be destined for each other after all. She accepts that she will have to forge a life alone—until a wrenching crisis and life-changing revelations teach her that true faith lies in all things, especially impossible second chances. 

As this author was new to me, I was not sure how much I was going to enjoy this book. As well, as much as I love the Amish genre, this story was classed as historical Amish. Historical romances are definitely NOT my favorite, however I must say that I am delighted to say that I was not disappointed in this tale, not one bit!  By Chapter Two, my attention was captured and I was totally engrossed in the plot to the very last page. 

The characters were well described in a realistic manner, making them easy with whom to identify . Becca became a good friend who endeared herself to me. I wanted to jump into the storyline at times and give her a big hug and tell her that everything would work out. Her fears, challenges, worries, as well as her joys. became mine. Matt was the perfect gentleman and I easily pictured him as the story unfolded. I must admit that I became very angry at Matt's mother for her cruelty to others and her superior attitude to all. When you become disgusted enough to want to shake a person, you realize that this must be an exceptional book!! I really forgot they were fictional characters!  These quirks and characteristics made the story come alive. 

The plot was well developed and differed from the norm in Amish fiction. No girl meets guy,fall in  love, get married, lives happily every after!  The constant twists and turns kept me glued to the page as I attempted to guess the next event. Surprises and shocking events existed around every corner. The author dealt with some sensitive subject matter in an understanding and realistic manner. Leaving the Amish is not a topic that many authors attempt to tackle within a romance, but Molly did so with dignity and grace. 

Molly Jebber did a great job of relating the story and making it come alive. The time period was described in excellent detail so that the reader had an excellent understanding of what was acceptable and why society had the attitudes that were exemplified in the many social events.

Five stars for this wonderful story!! Eagerly awaiting another book by this author!

I received this book from the author in exchange for a fair and honest review. 

About the Author:

"Change of Heart" is the first book in a keepsake pocket quilt series. Available now. In each book, someone will receive a letter tucked in a small pocket sewn on the quilt at just the right time. The second book, "Grace's Forgiveness" is available for preorder now and will be in stores and ebook January 29, 2016. I'm writing the third book now. "An Amish Christmas Sleigh" is releasing September 30th! 

A bit about me . . . .

I was raised in a small town in Ohio. If you had blinked twice, you would've missed it. It's grown by leaps and bounds. I've always found the Amish life interesting. I've enjoyed the many times I've visited their communities and learned about their lifestyle. Creating historical Amish characters and throwing them into difficult situations and joyous times has been challenging and fun. The greatest reward I've experienced in becoming an author is meeting wonderful people from all over the world who've been encouraging and supportive.

Visit my website at http://www.mollyjebber.com and sign up for my newsletter for members only contests, giveaways and where I'll be speaking! 


Leave a comment to be eligible to win a copy of this fantastic book!!!

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Oh my!! Love is just so confusing!!!

"Every Girl Gets Confused"
    By Janice Thompson

"How can she choose between the love she thought she lost and the love she stumbled upon in the aftermath??"

As I had read Janice's first book in the series, "Brides With Style" entitled "Every Bride Needs a Groom"  , I was delighted to find this new book in my mailbox. It appeared light and easy to read! I had loved the first book so much that I really wondered if this one could possibly match up to my preset standards and expectations.  To my surprise, I became totally engrossed in the story upon beginning chapter one.  
I would say that this book is romantic comedy at its best!! 

Katie Fisher and Brady James appear to be a match made in heaven!! Unfortunately, that doesn't seem to guarantee them a happily ever after along with angelic choirs. Katie's "almost" fiance, Casey, is back in Fairfield, prepared to rekindle their former relationship. One that was not all that successful in earlier years!  Katie's parents are ecstatic at the thought! They want nothing more than their daughter to come home from the big city of Dallas and be close to them once again. 

What Casey doesn't count on, is his former love, entranced by a handsome young man, in the big city where Katie has made her new home. Can Katie bear to leave Brady behind?  Will she ever be able to wear the beautiful wedding gown that she had won??

Janice has a unique style in her first person storytelling. She is able to write in a humorous fashion while developing her characters in a realistic, believable way. Each has his/her own little quirky ways that appeal to one's funny bone!! I must admit that even amongst serious situations, I would be caught up in giggles, being able to picture as well as feel the characters caught in this somewhat tangled web of complications of life. There is a more serious underlying theme throughout the book. Even when times are bad, God has a plan  that is consistent. We only have to allow him to guide us in the right direction. The characters fumble their way through the challenges while knowing that God can meet one's every need. 

The plot is well developed with just enough twists and turns to keep the reader captivated from beginning to end. Grief and some delicate subjects are dealt with in a light, sensitive manner. God's mercy and the gift of second chances are observed throughout this romantic tale. No one is exempt from hard times, it is how one reacts and responds that is important. Do we give God the chance to display His ever faithfulness and power??

This book can be read as a stand alone, however, I found that I enjoyed it  more as I felt as if I was once again meeting up with old friends that I had already met. I was just catching up on their lives! They had become part of me!!  
I highly recommend this book! A five star!!

As well as giving you a laugh, it will also leave you with a long lasting thought. There are second chances that only God can provide.  It is up to us to grab them!!

This book was supplied by Revell  in exchange for a fair and honest review. Now available from your local bookseller.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Being Released on Dec. 8th!!

          "An Amish Year"

          By Beth Wiseman

This collection of novellas by award winning author, Beth Wiseman , will be released on December 8th! Preorder your copy NOW!!

A year of four sweet romances  !!

Order the "Daughters of the Promise"  Series EBook  now for only $7.99 . Read this series and be ready for a very special Facebook Chat on Nov. 17th , taking place on Beth's Fans of Beth Wiseman Page!! 

For those who have already read these fabulous books, I challenge you to reread them in preparation for this Facebook Party!!  Get in touch with Irma Rose and Jonas once again!! FUN! FUN!  Don't miss out on this opportunity to chat with this wonderful author , as well as meet others who also enjoy her books!

Monday, November 9, 2015

A Brand New Series by Popular Author, Amy Clipston!!

"The Forgotten Recipe"
      By Amy Clipston 

I am always excited upon hearing that a great author has begun a new series! Since Amy writes Amish fiction, one of my favorite genres, I knew I was in for a good read!  "The Forgotten Recipe" is the first in the collection entitled, "Amish Heirloom ".  Excitement reigned in our household upon finding this new book in my mailbox!  I found myself totally engrossed in this tale as it allowed me to escape the real world for an entire day. 

"After losing her fiance in a tragic accident , Veronica Fisher finds solace in the old recipes stored in her mother's hope chest- and in a special visitor who comes to her bake stand to purchase an
old fashioned raspberry pie".  (From back cover of book)

Seth Lapp is a handsome, kind, hard working man who loves his fiance, Veronica with all his heart. Veronica feels extremely thankful that she is to marry her best friend in the world. 

Then, the unthinkable happens!! An accident on the job, steals Seth away from her. Her grief overcomes her. Veronica is sure that she will never be loved that way again. Upon discovering a batch of old, forgotten  recipes, she opens a bake stand where she sells her Mammi's raspberry pies. A young gentleman, a stranger to her, quickly becomes a regular customer and just happens to make her heart go pitter patter, against her better judgement.

This handsome man, Jason, just happened to have been with Seth when he died, a memory that will haunt him forever. The last thing he expected to happen, being attracted to the grieving fiance, occurred when he went to offer his condolences. He neither wanted or expected to be so attracted to her All of a sudden , raspberry pies become part of his regular diet!  He is pulled to Veronica's stand every week, but.... for more than the raspberry pie. 

Veronica feels the pull toward a new love despite her effort to ignore the attraction. The problem begins when Jason can't bring himself to tell her that he was present when Seth died. Can he bring himself to tell her?  In  order to become closer to her , he must reveal this hidden and distressful fact . Will his secret put a hold or a stop to the growing romance??? Can God help these two young folks accept the second chance that He is offering???

The characters in this book are described so realistically  that you immediately become part of of them and their story. I found Veronica someone with whom I could easily identify. At times, I felt I wanted to give her big hug, other times, a bit of push toward her second chance!

The plot is one that grabbed me from the first page!  This is a different kind of Amish story, one that is somewhat different from what we consider the norm. The story moves steadily and increases in tension as the romance progresses. Unexpected twists and turns appear when you least expect them. The quiet faith of the Amish shine through the problems and challenges of the characters. 

My only complaint.... the book ended TOO soon!! I wanted to keep reading and reading and.....  Now, I am anxiously awaiting Book 2 in this new series!! 

A five star book!! Don't miss this winning novel!!

This book was provided by the author in exchange for a fair and honest review. 

Sunday, November 8, 2015

A Delightful Story for the Christmas Season

"The Christmas Joy Ride"
    By Melody Carlson

 Whenever a book is offered to me for review purposed, by this author, I must admit that I jump at the chance. Her books are easy reads with a deep meaning that always remain long after I have finished reading the book. The themes of her books hit a spot deep in my soul that make me think and hopefully become a better person.


Miranda did not put adventure on her Christmas list, but thanks to her eighty-five-year-old neighbor Joy, that's exactly what she's getting this year. When Joy tells Miranda that she plans to drive an old RV decked out in Christmas decorations from their Chicago neighborhood to her new retirement digs in Phoenix--in the dead of winter, no less--the much younger Miranda insists that Joy cannot make such a trip by herself. Besides, a crazy trip with Joy would be more interesting than another Christmas home alone. Unemployed and facing foreclosure, Miranda feels she has nothing to lose by packing a bag and heading off to Route 66. But Joy has a hidden agenda for their Christmas joyride--and a hidden problem that could derail the whole venture.

No one captures the heartwarming fun of the Christmas season quite like Melody Carlson. Fasten your seat belt, because it's going to be an exciting ride!

My Review:
This book is truly one that exhibits the true meaning of Christmas!  It is one that at one moment has you chuckling, then at the next moment, in tears . Christmas joy is the theme throughout the tale,   however the author has shown this in an unusual way. We most often think of family and friends at this time of year, but Melody shows us how an individual can change the lives of strangers!!  

The characters in this Christmas story are unique, realistically described , as well as somewhat quirky. Joy is an elderly lady easily endeared to you, but also a mystery to your usual expectations of a person that age She has the most giving heart that one can imagine and her dreams are those that all of us should take heed of. I must admit that she made me examine my life and how I could positively affect others through good works. I was able to identify easily with Miranda , who at times, was totally overwhelmed and confuse by her elderly friend. I easily identifies with both of these ladies, good hearted souls who were full of love and Christmas cheer

The plot moved quickly with just enough surprising twists and turn to keep the reader glued to the page.
I just could not put this book down until I reached the end. This book was truly inspirational and uplifting, giving the reader a meaningful message. What can we do for others to make their Christmas dreams come true?? 'Is this not what Christmas is all about??

Definitely a five star book!!

This book was provided by Revell in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Dan Walsh, once again writes a winning book!

         "Keeping Christmas"
            By Dan Walsh

Synopsis: For the first time since their children were born, empty nesters Judith and Stan Winters spent Thanksgiving without the kids, and it's looking like Christmas will be the same. Judith can't bring herself to even start decorating for the holiday; her kids always hung the first ornaments on the tree, ornaments they had made each year since they were toddlers. Sure they were strange-looking--some could be called downright ugly--but they were tradition. A tradition she's heartbroken to miss this year.

With Judith refusing to decorate the bare spruce tree in their living room, Stan knows something must be done. And his only hope for saving the holiday is found in a box of handmade ornaments. 

Fan-favorite Dan Walsh invites readers to enjoy this nostalgic Christmas story that celebrates all of our most cherished seasonal traditions, especially the importance of family. Readers will join in remembering the things that make their own Christmas season so special.

My Opinion:

I have to admit that Dan Walsh is a favorite author of mine. His books always hit a special spot deep within, that make me think, and leave lasting thoughts, long after I have finished reading the book. This newest book was certainly no exception. It met every criteria that I have for a  meaningful storyline.

The characters were realistically and well described. In fact, they became part of my family. I easily identified with Judith and felt her every pain, challenge, disappointment as well as her joys and satisfactions. She was the mother that I hope that I become, one day, dedicated to her children . Her husband, Stan, was a sensitive, caring man who desperately wished for happiness for his wife. If this meant he would have to give up a dream, he was ready and willing. This love was evident in his every action. What a wonderful marriage they had!! 

The plot moved slowly but steadily. There were just enough surprising twists and turns to keep the reader engrossed in the tale. I must say that I did wish at times that events would happen more quickly, however , part of the appeal of the book, was that you had to wait for God's plan to be accepted and He had to be allowed to work out the challenges in a satisfying way.

Any reader who loves happily ever after books would adore this book. It is a story which whom every parent can identify. We want our children to become independent, however , that comes with disappointments to a mom and dad. Should it???? No , but we are human . Dan Walsh addresses this difficulty in a sensitive and caring way.

I highly recommend this book for all readers of Christian fiction. Uplifting and restores our faith in human nature!!!

This book was supplied by Revell  and Graff Martin Communications in exchange for a fair and honest review. Now available from your local bookseller.

Another Fantastic Read by One of My Favorite Authors, Vannetta Chapman!

An Amish Proposal for Christmas  By Vannetta Chapman Synopsis: Her deepest Christmas wish will bring more than she imagined…in this novel by...